Have you decided whether you are ready to go offshore for some of your software development projects? Initially, you need to identify the perfect fit offshore development vendor to work with. Hiring a dedicated team should be done with caution using an offshore development checklist so you can ensure selecting the best software provider who can manage your current software task.
You have the option either to outsource a part or all your company's software projects to an offshore development service provider. By creating an effective offshore development checklist, this can be a rewarding experience hiring the best-dedicated team.
Outsourcing to an offshore development team
As a widely accepted practice, many companies are outsourcing most of their software development projects to a remote vendor in exchange for quality work at affordable rates. The success of your firm’s outsourcing endeavor is dependent on your in-house team’s capacity to look for a highly capable offshore service provider while conducting your research in selecting the best outsourcing vendor.
Choosing the right vendor is vital
When outsourcing your software projects, negotiating with the skilled offshore vendor is as critical as hiring a software development company that works directly in your office. You should always be cautious about knowing who you are dealing with. Develop some practical means, checks, and balances to figure out the most efficient approach to outsource.
Developing an evaluation criterion
Prior to finding the perfect offshore development vendor, either you will be working with a software development company or group of individuals, an evaluation plan must be in place. Below are the basic items to know as you design your evaluation plan.
1. The needed skills to conduct your offshore tasks
2. The expertise of an individual or company that fits well your outsourced projects
3. Your total outsourcing budget for the offshore project
4. The target countries/destinations to perform your offshore vendor selection
5. What language or specific data the vendor needs to know to perform the tasks
6. The security checks to be undertaken prior to hiring an offshore dedicated team
These are general information each IT company should know before starting to look for an offshore vendor. The company should ensure all bases are fully covered before conducting the search. It could cause delays, frustrations, and waste of time when everything is done in haste and the vendor you hired cannot meet the expectations of your outsourced projects.
After the initial evaluation plan has been drafted, you can start your offshore vendor selection. Ensure all your offshore development checklist is achieved prior to choosing a specific vendor. Then, you can start the evaluation of your desired vendor when you have found the right offshore service provider.
Areas of concern
If you have spotted a potential offshore vendor, there are still several pointers to confirm before deciding to push through with the final negotiation. Do not rush things and later regret putting the decision-making in haste. Consider all hiring or outsourcing matters with caution as these may impact your company's operations, security, and reputation.
Below is a list of vital issues that must be addressed as part of the proper vendor selection.
Financial resources. Identify your exact project costs or existing outsourcing services before deciding to collaborate with an offshore vendor. If your main objective is to save by outsourcing some or your entire software projects, ensure all costs have been identified. All areas must be factored in the actual labor cost and getting the work done to the outsourced firm or contractor, including the costs of accepting the work and potential modifications in the scope of work. If you are in a rush, there might be hidden costs incurred that could add up to the overall cost.
Vendor skills and work quality. Check whether the vendor has the expertise to conduct the tasks assigned to the outsourced dedicated team. Ask for references and previous work samples as much as possible. Upon contacting past client, identify whether the vendor possesses excellent communication skills when issues arise. Determine whether they practice good coordination despite busy schedules and the staff exemplifies professional conduct. All these qualities ensure if the outsourced software project will be successful. Verify the validity of all their presented credentials.
Potential offshore vendor standard practices and goals. Spend time to know more about your potential vendor regarding their goals and objectives as a service provider. Ensure that your goals and theirs are at the same page when meeting your outsourcing requirements.
Country stability. Check whether the country where your vendor is located is safe and stable politically and economically. Get to know about the country's IT regulations and outsourcing policies from other previous companies who outsourced your vendor’s services. Identify the possible restrictions or specific regulations for outsourcing in your target country. It is highly advisable to know these details in advance so you can effectively decide on your chosen vendor.
Is your offshore company a perfect fit?
Below are 10 criteria to verify whether an offshore vendor is suitable for you and your software development company.
#1 Recruitment process. Hiring is a priority consideration as it is the starting point of everything. The quality of your vendor’s expertise is a major factor in hiring staff services. Make sure that you are actively involved in the hiring process, so you know who is working on your project. Select a partner that allows choosing who will be part of the team.
#2 Open communication lines. Make it a point that you can regularly interact with your developers. As most offshore vendors may be using different layers of management between you and your team, some communication may be filtered. Ensuring effective communication is key to quality development according to the code of conduct and personal relationships. With your team, which consists of real people in an office setting, select a vendor that will enable you to talk to your developers. Also, you may require staggered work schedules so your developers’ working day can overlap with yours. Once you get to know them on a personal level, they are more likely to do their best in doing the project tasks. Also, if they exactly know what you want, they can get things done at a faster rate.
#3 Management control. Regarding the management requirements, if you require direct access to your developers and software development, never compromise with them. Be clear in keeping control over your team and your software’s intellectual property. Check your contract and ensure no loopholes are found. One of the common flaws with general offshoring is the lack of ownership when it comes to your team’s project details. If this is valuable to you, never compromise. Choose a vendor that can guarantee control.
#4 Staff retention. A negative impression of outsourcing is increased employee attrition. Ask what the service provider’s retention rate prior to hiring its services. Both staff onboarding and training are quite costly. You will pay for that cost. A firm with improved retention rate is a vital factor. As your team sticks around with you, they gain a higher level of expertise that makes things easy for them to do their daily tasks.
#5 Conducive working conditions. The quality of the working area has a significant impact on the moral, physical, and emotional health. Seek a transparent service provider that has a good office space and ensures their staff can work comfortably.
#6 HR assistance. The HR team keeps the staff comfortable while working. It establishes a strong company culture that promotes improved staff retention. Also, the team addresses all work-related issues such as paid-time-off. Ask your potential service provider regarding its HR staff and what culture it practices within the team. Identify whether it has a relaxed and fun working condition or implements a rigid space with strict rules and regulations. Determine the activities the HR undertakes to ensure the remote team is both happy and productive.
#7 Continuous training. Ask your potential vendor if they invest in their staff by providing them the necessary training and skills enhancement. Identify whether the employees are highly trained with the latest technology and how their current skills are being exploited. Is your vendor providing self-learning modules to staff or they simply handpick people who should be trained for specific training?
#8 Productivity evaluation. You might be thinking that once you go offshore you can no longer monitor your team’s productivity. Your remote service provider can assist you in this situation. Your vendor may have a monitoring process to do this. Never accept a work plan that does not work for you. Ensure your offshore vendor fully understands how you and your team works and can best collaborate your offshore team members into the plan.
#9 Capacity to visit. Meeting your offshore team in person can assist on how you can work together. Ask your service provider if they can allow you to visit and meet the team. By doing so, you build a working relationship and enhance your interaction with them.
#10 Cost range. Price is self-explanatory. Be skeptical of destinations where cost seems very low. They might be cutting corners at some point. For those with a higher cost, check what types of services your vendor provides and evaluate whether the services are worth the price.
Several outsourcing criteria cited above are created to assist you to make the right decision when choosing an offshore service provider. Evaluate with caution your company's goals and objectives, including the vendor's technical expertise and previous outsourcing services rendered.